Unlike the previous day which had been very hot and sunny, the weather forecast for our race was not so promising with a very large threat of helpers, competitors and spectators getting wet. Thankfully as it turned out, apart from a couple of very quick showers, Sandringham School somehow managed to dodge some very threatening clouds that passed either side of the venue.
At 0830 our new race director, Paul Durbin, and a number of coaches, committee members and parents arrived to set the course up with most of the kit already on site as it had been delivered the afternoon before. Each year there are improvements that have been made and this year was no different with racking in transition for the Tristar 2 and above age groups, small white flags to indicate the bike course that had been altered to now go clockwise rather than anti clockwise and also included a chicane to add a little more of a technical element and orange cones to mark out the run course around the running track and all the way to the finish line.
With registration set up in the lobby of the new gym, the chip timing company, hot food van, ice cream van, the cake stall manned by the Chair and commentator all in place it was time to welcome up to 170 competitors to the event.
Having registered, the competitors then went over to the tattoo station, manned by the boys and girls captains and vice captains, to have a number tattoo put on their arm and leg. Once done the competitor’s next stop was the transition area where bikes and helmets were checked by the Tri-Force coaches before they were allowed to set up their transition area. The final job for the competitors prior to race briefing was optional, as they could fill out some details about themselves and take it over to the Barry Thorn, the commentator to read out during the race and that guaranteed them entry into the spot prize draw, very kindly sponsored by Buff, which took place at the end of the race.
Paul Durbin provided a very detailed race briefing.
Once all the marshals were fully refreshed with clipboards in hand
and Abbie West (the former girls captain) who is a qualified lifeguard were in place and the race referee was happy the first competitors headed over to the swimming pool.
Tri-Force had a record 54 number of competitors entered, however unfortunately injuries and illness meant that 9 were unable to take part. As it turned out Tri-Force members also had the not so enviable record of having the most disqualifications (3 out of 4), the most bike crashes, at least 2 reported and 1 non finisher, although they did make up for it by winning the most Buff’s in the spot prize draw later!!!!
Once all the racing was over there were a lot of very happy children spotted wearing their finishers medals before they hit the food and refreshments on offer.
While the race referee, race director and chip timing company were finalizing the race results the Captains and Vice Captains were setting up the trophy presentation table
and the all important spot prize draw sponsored by Buff took place with Tri-Force kids picking up 6 of the 10 prizes on offer – and it wasn’t fixed!!!!!
The Committee would like to thank:
- Paul Durbin who did an excellent job making his debut as Race Director ably assisted behind the scenes by his wife Fiona.
- All parents who helped out with the course building, manning registration, the cake stall, marshaling, commentating and taking photographs for the website.
- Past boy and girl captains who helped marshal and lifeguard.
- All the bakers who supplied goodies for the cake stall including guest baker Anthea Papa and her renouned cup cakes topped with sweets.
- Buff for their very kind donation of 10 buffs as spot prizes.
Youths (Full Race Results in PDF)
The first Tri-Force Junior competitor was Hannah Rayden, the Girls Captain whose main goal at the start of the day was to beat the girl from Cambridge who had beaten her the previous day. As usual, she immediately found herself playing catch up after the swim but her cycle was much better and she had not lost a significant amount of time compared to her other main rivals. With the run being around an athletics track Hannah always had her main rivals in her sights and she ran superbly and took huge chunks out of the deficit on every lap. Hannah was actually 2nd= quickest on the run and overtook the 3 competitors she needed to do to come 4th overall and win the younger age band trophy.
The 2 boys in this category were the Boys Captain, Matthew Honeyman, and Vice Captain Adam Hughes.
Adam also had to start playing catch up after his swim but the standard of competition in the boys event was fierce. Despite a very good cycle and an excellent 2nd place run he was only able to make up a couple of places to come 5th overall but unfortunately the competitor immediately in front of him was also in the younger age band category.
Matt Honeyman does not have a good recent record at our event having failed to finish last year. It all started really well with Matt being in 3rd place coming on to the bike course. A good cycle and Matt was still comfortably in 4th place coming on to the run. No matter how experienced a competitor, one of the biggest problems in kids triathlons is remembering and counting the correct number of laps and not following other competitors that are going in to the finish line. Sadly for Matt he realised as soon as he had crossed the finish line that he was one lap short, but later on in the day was a source of comfort to a much younger fellow competitor from another club who had made an identical mistake. Hopefully next year will be third time lucky for Matt.
Tristar 3 (Full Race Results in PDF)
In the girls event Tri-Force had 12 of the 22 competitors with varying levels of experience from seasoned East Region competitors Jessica Laitner, Tori Weston, Emily Rayden, Naomi Holt, Sarah Crooks, Alannah Mabbs and Hannah Newman to novice triathletes Claire Burrell, Hannah Trotman and Amy Ireland with Isobel West and Lauren Enever who have competed in this event in previous years making up the field.
Jessica had a superb swim and was the fastest of all the boys and girls in this age category. Unfortunately still having not conquered her nemesis, 2 wheels with pedals, she dropped down the order and as usual had to rely on her excellent running (2nd=) to pass a number of other competitors, including Tori, Claire and Naomi to grab the final podium position.
Tori was in 3rd= place after the swim a mere 13 seconds behind Jessica and had soon passed her with a 5th place on the cycle, unfortunately she had also been overtaken by a few competitors including Claire. Although running is her least favourite discipline, she still ran well enough to be well clear in 4th place and win the younger age band trophy.
Claire made an excellent debut in East Region triathlons. She is well known in the club for her superb freestyle swimming technique and was level with Tori in 3rd= place. Her cycling has obviously improved immeasurably and a 3rd place in that discipline meant she was in a great 3rd place coming on to the run and only 10 seconds off second place. Her inexperience in pacing triathlons may have told as she was passed by both Jessica and Tori in the run but still hung on to a wonderful 5th place with 3 seconds to spare from the next tri-Force competitor.
Emily had another good swim and was in 6th place when she mounted her new racing bike. Unfortunately she found changing from a cyclo cross bike to a racing bike quite a challenge and as a result lost quite a lot of time to her nearest challengers. A very good 6th place run moved her back past a number of competitors to come 6th overall just failing to catch Claire on the line.
Naomi had a solid swim and came on to her favourite discipline with Alannah 1 second in front of her and immediately started to create a gap between the two of them and at the same time was overtaking other competitors as a result of a great 4th place cycle. She again struggled a lot more on the run and was overtaken by Emily but still was 7th overall.
Hannah Trotman is another one of our new members who is still learning how to pace triathlons. She was quite a long way back after the swim and cycle but then stormed through the field with a superb 4th place on the run to come 8th overall. Hopefully the experience will give her a lot of confidence for future events.
Sarah has found the step up to Tristar 3 quite an adjustment this year, however she had one of her best races of the season. Her race was actually very similar to Hannah Trotman’s where she found herself with a lot to do coming on to the run. An excellent 5th place on the run moved her past a number of competitors, including Alannah who she beat by 4 seconds with her 10th place.
Alannah had a solid swim and was immediately behind Naomi when she came on to the bike. Her cycling has improved a lot this year and she probably fancied giving it a good go at chasing Naomi. Sadly her over exuberance got the better of her and she went flying over the handlebars at the bottom of the hill when failing to negotiate the tight turn. Although she remounted, she was very sore and having finished 11th headed straight to the first aid tent for treatment on her knee.
Hannah Newman has raced in just about every East Region race this season and has also found the transition to Tristar 3 quite a challenge. She also possibly found her exertions of the previous hot day at Upminster had come back to bite her because after a solid swim where she was 12th quickest she was unable to make any inroads into most of the competitors around her on the bike. Despite a better run she failed to catch the girl from Ipswich by a mere 1 second and came home in 13th place.
Isobel was just in front of Hannah Newman after the swim and increased her advantage through transition to be 20 seconds ahead of Hannah at the start of the bike. Isobel being much smaller than most of the other girls in the age group does struggle more on the cycle as she has to ride a much smaller framed bike. She actually came into the second transition in an identical time to Hannah, but lost out to her on the run to come 15th overall despite all the support from her sister Sophie another former Tri-Force member.
Amy tried out a racing bike for the first time just before the race but quite sensibly decided to stick with her cyclo cross bike for the actual race. A solid swim and run was unfortunately compromised by her cycle which resulted in her coming 16th, however given her lack of experience it was still a very encouraging performance and if she gets to grips with handling a racing bike over the summer holidays she should see massive improvements in the near future.
Lauren has had an impressive season so far since moving up to Tristar 3. Her race started well as she came out of the pool in 6th= place. Although she had dropped a couple of places after her cycle she was still in a good position to challenge a number of Tri-Force competitors around her. Unfortunately just like the boy’s captain she miscounted her run laps and came into the finish to early and sadly got disqualified.
Unlike the girls event which was full of Tri-Force competitors, there were only 3 club members in the boys event – James Mabbs, Louis Paganuzzi and Tom Hughes.
James had one goal at the start of the event to try and win the younger age band trophy and knew he was going to be pushed all the way by triathletes from Cambridge, who had beaten him numerous times this year, and Hoddesdon who was in his wave. James weakest discipline is his swim but he actually was much closer to his rivals than normal. Conscious that he needed to make up time and also the thought that the quicker he finished the sooner he would get his hands on one of Mrs Papa’s infamous cakes he hurtled around the course. Unfortunately as he had not studied the course map beforehand, he was not expecting to find a chicane at the far end of the course and came a cropper. Having remounted he finished the cycle with the boy from Hoddesdon 15 seconds ahead of him. James gave the run absolutely everything and overtook the Hoddesdon triathlete. He was eventually 4th in the run and came 5th overall. Sadly for him the Cambridge boy beat him by 13 seconds although whether forgetting to put the chip timing on should have incurred a time penalty is another matter. The good news was that James did get his cake!!!!!
Louis and Tom hardly ever compete in races outside of Tri-Force and were always going to have a battle between each other. Louis was 6 seconds ahead of Tom after the swim, but then a very slow transition meant that Tom started out on the bike in front. Louis is a far stronger cyclist and had soon overtaken Tom to have a comfortable lead at the end of the bike discipline. Although Tom was quicker on the run he was unable to close the gap enough on Louis. Louis finished in 13th place with Tom 2 places behind in 15th but both boys appeared to really enjoy the experience.
Tristar 2 (Full Race Results in PDF)
The 7 Triforce Tristar 2 girls could not be more diverse in experience with Jessica Thorn and Christy Durbin having competed in numerous East Region events over the last couple of seasons and Jordan Walters, Grace Dommett, Katie McAree, Tara Cairns and Emily Thomas having competed in few if any races away from Sandringham School.
Jess and Christy were always going to have a very close battle and so it proved again with the advantage that for once they were both in the same wave and so they knew exactly who was in front at any point in the race. Jessica was in 4th place after the swim with Christy one place further back 7 seconds behind Jess but only 11 seconds behind the leader. Christy had probably her best transition of the season so far and had reduced the deficit to Jess to 1 second as they came out on to the bike. Jess managed to open up a slight lead on the bike with the 2nd quickest ride and had moved into 2nd place overall with Christy now 10 seconds behind having had the 4th quickest cycle. Again Christy made up time on Jess in transition and they both came out on the run together in 2nd= place along with another competitor in a previous wave with an identical time and the competitor in 5th only 4 seconds behind. So it was all down to the run to settle the places and Jess had the 2nd quickest run to grab the silver medal with Christy (10 seconds behind Jess) hanging on to bronze with 2 seconds to spare. What an absolutely fantastic race.
Jordan has improved a lot this season and this was immediately evident with her swim as she was only 5 seconds behind Christy. She followed this up with very solid bike and run sections to come home in an excellent 7th place.
Grace has found the step up in distances this year a challenge, however she has been improving with every race she has taken part in and this was no exception. With 3 solid disciplines and a constant smile on her face she finished in 12th place and will hopefully gained a lot of confidence as a result.
Katie, Tara and Emily were our final 3 competitors with Tara just leading Katie out of the swim and Emily not far behind. Katie had the far slicker transition and had moved ahead of Tara coming on to the bike. According to her dad, Tara then decided to find out what cycling the Tristar 3 age band distance was like as she went and completely miscounted her number of laps – at least she didn’t get disqualified by doing too few!!!!! This meant that Katie was now ahead of Emily and Tara was now trailing by 2 minutes. Both Tara and Emily gradually started to close on Katie but not fast enough. In the end Katie came home 15th with Katie only 8 seconds behind in 16th and Emily just behind her in 17th.
In the boys event the club were represented by William Hughes, Ben Crooks, Tom Jarman, Sam Newman and Tommy Groth. Unfortunately both Edward Jex and Daniel Ireland both turned up but were too ill to take part.
William, Ben, Tom and Sam have had numerous close fought battles over the last couple of seasons and with them all being in the same wave it was always going to be an interesting encounter. Tom lead out of the pool from Ben with Sam and William hot on his heels. There was only 12 seconds separating the 4 of them. Tom then increased his lead further thanks to a fast transition and William now found himself last of the quartet 23 seconds behind. By the end of the bike it had all changed with William having had the 5th quickest cycle of all the competitors now leading the quartet with Sam next, then Ben and finally Tom. William the pulled further away from the quartet with an excellent 2nd quickest run to come home 5th overall missing the younger age band trophy by only 14 seconds. Sam had the next quickest run of the quartet, however he had unfortunately had an issue with his trainers and made the fatal mistake of removing and discarding them by the side of the track. Although a lap later he was instructed to pick them up and carry them he had contravened one of the triathlon rules and was disqualified.
Ben finished the race in 7th place and Tom was 11th.
Tommy is a younger age band competitor and would be the first to admit that he competes in triathlon mainly for the enjoyment of taking part rather than worrying where he will come. As usual he gave it absolutely everything and finished 17th.
Tristar 1 (Full Race Results in PDF)
It was all change in the swimming pool where the format changed from waves to a snake swim which involves each competitor starting 20 seconds behind the previous swimmer. For the Tristar 1 competitors this also involved swimming under lane ropes after every 2 lengths. Due to some slow swim times submitted by a couple of the girls the boys went first and this included Charlie Young, Tom Pruett and Jonathan Bint.
Charlie was the first of the Tri-Force boys to enter the water with Tom immediately following him. Charlie was in 4th place after the swim and Tom 1 second behind in 5th although Tom was 2 seconds quicker through the first transition and so was now ahead by 1 second. Charlie unfortunately started to not feel 100% and lost a few more seconds to Tom on the bike and was in quite a lot of distress with stomach ache by the time he pulled off after the second lap of the run. Tom meanwhile continued on the run but lost a lot of ground to a number of the other boys in the race to finish in a very credible 13th place.
Jonathan is brand new to triathlons this year and has made enormous strides thanks to all the coaches. He had a steady swim and bike but then an excellent run meant that he was closing all the time on Tom but unfortunately the finish line came too soon. Jonathan finished 17th and can look forward to even better results next season when he will still be in the Tristar 1 age band.
In the girls event the club had 7 representatives with varying experience from top East Region competitors in Antonia Jubb and Sara Laitner, to Amelia Weaire and Joy Walters who have been with the club at least 2 years and competed in a few open events to the Manson sisters (Maisy, Katy and Emily) who are brand new to the club this year and experiencing their first ever open event.
The first 2 competitors into the pool were Antonia and Sara who are both excellent swimmers and yet again they did not disappoint. Antonia had the fastest swim with Sara in 2nd = 16 seconds behind. The fact that they both beat all the boys as well shows the standard of their swimming. Both girls will the first to admit that of all the 3 discipline cycling is still probably their weakest, however they both did very respectable times to finish 3rd and 4th in that discipline. By this stage of the race Antonia had lost her lead by 5 seconds and was only 1 second ahead of the third placed athlete. Sara meanwhile was in 4th 31 seconds behind Antonia. Coming out of the second transition Antonia had actually dropped down to 3rd place and set off in hot pursuit. Antonia has been running really well lately and this was no exception as she gradually closed down the leaders. Unfortunately the leader came into the finish a lap too early and so was disqualified which meant that Antonia won by under a second. Whether she would have caught the leader no one will ever know, however it is certain that it would have been very close. Sara was 4th in the run and came home an excellent 3rd overall.
The next mini battle involved Amelia, Maisy and Joy. Maisy was the strongest of the 3 at swimming and had opened up a 20 second lead over Joy with Amelia a further 10 seconds back. Joy then shot past Maisy on the bike to take a 7 second lead as they came out of transition onto the run with Amelia now 34 seconds back. Amelia did not panic and used all her experience to gradually reel in and overtake the other 2 girls. Amelia finished in 8th place, 8 seconds ahead of Maisy who was in a great 9th place with Joy another 9 seconds back in 10th. This should be a very interesting race at club championships later in the year.
Finally it was a family battle between Katy and Emily. Katy lead out of the swim by 12 seconds but then proceeded to lose all that time and more in transition to find herself 16 seconds behind as she got on her bike. Unfortunately for Emily she appears to have had some issues on the bike and lost a load of time to Katy which she was never going to make up. After the run Katy came home 12th and Emily 15th but looking at their faces at the end they certainly seemed to enjoy the whole triathlon experience.
Tristar Start (Full Race Results in PDF)
2 and a half hours after the start of racing the youngest age group were at last able to be let loose on the course. With a far greater number of boys than girls, the boys went first once the final Tristar 1 competitor had completed their first 2 lengths.
The first boy in the pool was Mathew Enever who has had a tremendous season including a number of wins. Mathew had a tremendous 1st place on the swim and combined with a solid transition was already leading the field by 19 seconds when he mounted his bike. A 2nd= position on the bike saw him maintain the lead. The boy in 2nd place then started to close through the second transition and the run but Mathew hung on to win with 6 seconds to spare.
The club’s other male competitor was Benjamin Taggart who is still learning the ropes of triathlon. Ben was in 4th= place having completed the swim, however he did lose some ground in both transitions to competitors around him. A solid bike and run brought Ben home in a very good 7th place and with some more transition training will get much closer to Mathew in the future.
Once the final Tristar 1 competitor had completed their fourth length the girls were able to go which ensured that Andy & Frances Holt, who have vast experience starting the kids triathlons, had to be on their toes to ensure the correct boy and girl were in 2 different lanes and ready to start at the same time.
Lucy Crooks, Mackenzie Holt and Megan Gray were the 3 Tri-Force competitors with Megan being the only one not to have experienced an open race before.
Although Lucy was seeded as a slower swimmer than Mackenzie based on previous times, she in fact had a quicker time and was in 2nd place going into transition, 10 seconds behind the leader. Although she than had the fastest bike ride she had in fact lost further ground on the leader due to much slower transitions which meant she was now 24 seconds behind at the start of the run. Although she had the equal fastest run time of all the girls she was unable to make much of an impression on the leader, but still won an excellent silver medal. Some more transition practice and Lucy will be close to achieving gold in the future.
Megan and Mackenzie meanwhile had their own battle with Mackenzie the stronger swimmer and more experienced triathlete building a 13 second lead going on to the bike. Megan is a physically much bigger and stronger girl than Mackenzie and was able to use this advantage to good effect on the bike where she had the 2nd quickest time and in the process had opened up a 17 second lead by the time the run started. Another strong run saw Megan pull further away from Mackenzie to come home in 4th place with Mackenzie one place further back in 5th. To show the importance of transition practice, the girl who beat Megan to bronze was in fact 13 seconds slower over the 3 disciplines, but 39 seconds quicker through the 2 transitions.